Restore and Recycle: Everything You Need to Know Before Trading in Your Device

If you have an old, outdated cell phone that you’re no longer using, or want to upgrade to a newer model, then trading in your phone may be the best solution to meet your needs.

Some phone trade-in programs can earn you as much as $300 towards the purchase of your next device, making this a sweet deal for any budget-conscious consumer.

Before you sign up to trade in your old phone, it’s important to take steps to restore your device to its factory settings. These steps will wipe all of your personal data from your device, making it harder for people to steal your personal information when it is re-sold.

Back Up Your Information

The first step to restoring your device is to back up any personal information which may be on your device. This can include:

  • Contacts
  • Calendar entries and dates
  • App data from saved games
  • Photos
  • Music

Google has a useful feature for all Smartphones which allows you to download all of your data into an archive of your choice.

If you prefer automating your backups, then make sure to check out Backblaze for Mobile. This service automatically downloads and creates backups of all of your mobile data and stores it on a secure server on the cloud, keeping it safe from corruption and available if you reset your device. Backblaze is available for free for iOS and Android.

Encrypt Your Data

Encryption is the process of making the data stored on your phone unreadable without your unique encryption key and prevents it from being read by other devices.

If you are an iOS user, then your data is automatically encrypted. If you’re using an Android phone running Gingerbread 2, 3, 4 or later, then you’ll need to encrypt your data manually.

Perform a Factory Reset

Performing a factory reset is an important part of protecting your data because it restores your device to its blank factory settings,

On iOS, you can perform a factory reset by opening the Settings menu > General > Reset. Clicking “Erase All” will completely wipe the data from your device.

On Android you simply open the Menu > Settings > Privacy > Factory Data Reset > Reset Phone.

Recycling your device not only helps reduce the overall cost of your new phone, but it also helps dispose of older models in an environmentally-friendly way. Find a store near you to learn more about specific deals in your area.